Publication date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Nicole Conway
Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.
While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.
Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.
Why dragons? Well, the answer is simple. I love dragons, and it isn’t a recent development. Ever since my mom began reading books to me like The Hobbit and Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher, I was doomed to be a fantasy nerd for the rest of my life. I fell in love with the world of fantasy at a very, very young age. I was that kid who could have cared less about dolls and princesses—I wanted to be a dragon. Not much has changed now that I’m older. I’d still much rather be a dragon than a princess. But writing a book about dragons is about as close as I’ll ever get. Fortunately, it’s more than enough to satisfy my inner child, and it has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Hearing that people are loving Jaevid and Mavrik as much as I do is so validating. It’s a childhood dream come true!
It took me quite a while to find my own angle of approach for this book, though. When taking on a subject as commonly known and well-loved as dragons, I knew I had no margin for error. People are very outspoken if you ruin their favorite topic of literature! So I took my time to make sure my concept of dragons would be as unique and complete as possible. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel with this book, but I wanted to set the stage for a story that would give a different perspective on dragons and knights.
This is where my husband came in. He’s a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, and I have been with him through his training. I’ve watched him go through the intense challenges of learning to fly and fight in the air, and I’ve seen how it has changed him into a stronger, more confident person. The relationships he has built with the other men he trained with is unique. Some call it a “community,” but what I’ve witnessed is that it’s a brotherhood. These men see each other at their best and worst. They compete, sure, but they also support one another through circumstances that no one else can relate to. It’s a private world that you can’t truly understand unless you have been through it yourself. As soon as I realized that this was the angle I wanted to take on with the dragonriders, I couldn’t wait to get started.
The research began with interviewing my husband rigorously about every aspect of his training that he was able to discuss. He helped me build the community of dragonriders to mimic his own experiences. I’m a stickler for details, but since Fledgling was going to be meant for younger readers, I knew I had to condense and simplify as much as possible without losing the essence of what I was trying to get across. In the end, I had a great feeling about this approach to dragonriders. It was fun, exciting, and fresh. I had never heard of a story taking this view on them before, and it was my hope that this would be a story others would love as much as I did. Jaevid was going to be our guide into the exclusive world of dragonriders, and I was eager to get the adventure started!
ABOUT NICOLE CONWAY:
Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.
Stop 4: Scavenger Hunt
Welcome to the 4th stop on your scavenger hunt! Please note my secret word below!
I wish I could say that he welcomed me with open arms into his home; eager to make up for lost time he hadn’t gotten to spend with me. But he already had a family, living on the outskirts of a small city called Mithangol, and he wasn’t interested in adding me to it. I was an unwanted guest right away.
He had a human wife named Serah who made it perfectly clear she didn’t want me in her house at all. Serah absolutely hated me. She glared whenever she looked at me, accused me of being responsible for anything that went wrong, and refused to let me sleep in her house because I gave her a “bad feeling.”
So I slept on a cot in the loftroom of Ulric’s workshop, instead. As bad as it sounds, I actually preferred it. It was quiet there, and even though it was cold in the winter, I liked the smell of the old hay and the leather that was stored up there.
Ulric also had another son, Roland, who was four years older than me. Roland chose to ignore my existence completely. I got the feeling that he was in survival mode, trying to be as aloof and uninvolved with the family as he possibly could until he was old enough to move out. I couldn’t really blame him for that. Like me, he favored our father. He was really tall, muscular, and had the same ice-blue eyes that looked like they belonged to a powerful bird of prey. I was a little afraid of him, even though he never said more than two words to me at a time. I could sense a lot of anger coming from him, and I was always paranoid I’d be standing too close when he finally snapped.